GLADEWATER — The Gladewater Bears rushed for 370 yards en route to a 41-10 victory over Spring Hill on Friday night.
James Reese picked up 247 yards on the ground with a pair of touchdowns for the Bears (3-3, 1-1 District 16-3A). Junior quarterback Nick Canaguier had a 39-yard touchdown pass and added an 11-yard scoring jaunt.
While double teams limited Gladewater defensive lineman Daylon Mack — who picked up collegiate offer No. 16 this past week from Notre Dame — to a lone sack on defense, the Bears put the junior 6-2, 310-pounder to work offensively.
Mack had scoring runs of 2 and 5 yards and played the bulldozer role on Reese’s and Canaguier’s scoring runs.
Spring Hill (2-4, 0-2) quarterback Jacob Rooney finished with 240 yards through the air — 215 coming in the second half — including a 70-yard scoring toss to Logan Nichols. Troy Duran split the uprights with room to spare from 34 yards out for the Panthers.
The Bears defense held the Panthers to negative yardage on the ground in the heated contest. The teams combined for 20 penalties for close to 200 yards.
Mack made his first appearance of the night on the Bears’ first drive, leading the way for a 7-yard run on fourth-and-1. Reese capped the 16-play, 83-yard march with a 2-yard score to put Gladewater up 7-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter.
After chewing up more than seven minutes on their opening drive, the Bears wasted little time finding the end zone again, with Canaguier finding Clayton Findley over the middle followed by the junior taking it 39 yards to paydirt to give Gladewater a 13-0 lead.
The Bears later marched to the Panther 22 before a Spring Hill stop left Gladewater facing a fourth-and-1. Reese picked up 20 yards on a reverse to put the Bears inside the 5. Mack then marched the ball in from 2 yards out for his first offensive touchdown of the season.
Gladewater opened the second half with three straight first downs before the Panthers defense dug in at the Spring Hill 22. Mack took a direct snap on fourth-and-3 and trucked for a first down. Spring Hill forced another fourth down before Mack led a misdirection play, allowing Canaguier to score with ease from 11 yards out.
Gladewater’s Dane Lewis spoiled Spring Hill’s longest drive of the night with an interception at the Bears 19. The Bears marched the field again with a 39-yard run from Reese setting up Mack’s second touchdown — also on fourth down — from five yards out.
Spring Hill responded with Rooney and Nichols connecting for a 70-yard score. A Panthers interception then set up Duran’s 34-yard field goal to put the score 34-10 with 9:03 to play.
Hagen Cooper scooped up a loose ball and Reese eclipsed the 100-yard mark in the second half on a 74-yard touchdown run for the 41-10 final score.
Spring Hill hosts Chapel Hill next week while Gladewater travels to Bullard.